A lot of us resist setting goals of any kind because in the past, whenever we set a goal we get scared or nervous. It brings up all our past experiences with goals – which as we know have not gone as we hoped. You might even feel shame, fear and doubt.
And that is normal. Nothing is going wrong. The only thing that is happening is when you set a goal, your brain starts thinking,
“I can’t do this.”
That is the default wiring in your brain. This leads us to the first shocking thing about goals.
#1. If you don’t set a goal of some type, it’s really hard for your brain to know when you’re on-track or off-track.
It’s hard for your brain to know when it’s succeeding. You can’t celebrate your progress because you don’t know when you’re winning.
Without goals your perfectionist brain takes over and starts telling you that if you are not doing ALL the things, then you’re not winning. You’re losing and you might as well quit.
Which, brings us to the second shocking thing about goals.
#2. Believing in yourself is not required to achieve your goal.
Whaaaaat? Yes, it’s true. On day one you’re scared. You don’t think you can do it.
Goals are usually new adventures, new endeavors, new habits, new behaviors. Uncertainty and fear are part of the newness. Ride the wave. Each day you make progress, you learn, you gain clarity, you become more confident, you trust yourself to figure it out as you go.
The only thing you have to believe is that you’ll keep going. That’s it. Believe that everyday you will make a small change, exert a little effort that will move you forward from where you were yesterday.
I know you’re wondering how long is it going to take to reach my goal if I only take small steps? Well that answer, friend, is the final shocker about goals.
#3. No matter what the goal, I know how long it is going to take you to achieve it.
Longer than you want and longer than you planned. Embrace that, because, never have I met anyone who has achieved a goal and was like “Oh ya, it happened so fast.”
You will get impatient. You will stumble. You will lose your enthusiasm. The secret is to be resilient and show up for yourself every day.